By Steve Osaka
Veteran Kenyan event organizer and Master of Ceremony Thomas Kwaka commonly known as Big Ted has shed light on the upheavals of event setting.
Big Ted who spoke to Churchill on the journey series edition and reminisced on how he not only incurred losses but also had his fair share of embarrassment as an event host.
The most embarrassing moment happened years ago when he invited The Late Tanzanian Singer James Ndandu-Cool James “Mtoto wa Ndandu” whose songs were enjoying favorable airplay in the East African region.
Little did Big Ted know that Cool James was a mere recording artist and not a performing artist.
The event at Carnivore was parked to capacity and fans were looking forward for a thrilling show which Cool James could not offer.
“There’s a difference between a recording artist and a performing artist, Cool James was a recording artist, the guy could not perform his own songs at the Carnivore… Sema aibu, I ended up performing his whole album, ” said Big Ted.
He further narrated how event organizing needs big money and profits are never guaranteed as sometimes shows flop when you have already spent a good amount of money. Artists are also demanding as they require state of the art treatments.
The Veteran event host who has had a stint working with the government, incurred heavy losses when he flew in Congolese Crooner Koffi Olomide for a show that never was.
It was all systems go, everything was set from the venue to the artist’s hotel’s booking.
An ugly airport incident occurred when Koffi out of disagreement kicked one of his dancer’s upon landing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
This led to the cancelation of the show by the Kenyan authorities and Koffi was deported back to Kinshasa.
He was granted ‘persona non grata’ and has never set foot in Kenya to date.Big Ted has battled obesity and won through a surgical process ‘non-intrusive’ which allows his stomach to accommodate little amounts of food.
He spent around 700,000 shillings for the process in India 3 years ago and continues to lead a stress free life unlike days he was bothered by his bulging weight.